Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Katrina Donation Update...Feb 3 Update

UPDATE: As I suspected, my client has approved the first family. I couldn't be happier.

Interviewed a family today who will likely be the beneficiaries of my client's generosity.

For those who haven't been here before, I have a client who has purchased two new homes (3/2s) here in Austin for use by Katrina family evacuees for two to three years with an option to purchase at the end of the term. They will pay some nominal rent which will be held in trust by Foundation Communities and possibly used as the down payment at the time of the purchase. Foundation Communities will also tutor them with financial/budgeting and other skills.

It will also set up a savings account for the acquisition of the home into which the family will contribute and FC will match. I love my client and FC (extra thanks to FC for all the initial screening of the families as I never could have done all that) for doing this but this post is about the family.

This family spent 4 horrible days in the convention center and ended up in Austin not even knowing where they were headed. Even the trek to the convention center was brutal. None of them had ever left the Crescent City before this plight.

The family consists of the dad of 33 years and the mom of about 31. They have one son (4) and another due in April. He obtained a furniture assembly job from a large national retail chain the day after the job fair here in Austin about a week or so after arriving in Austin. He'd been assembling furniture in the Big Easy for seven years and was making about $7.50 an hour. He's already had two raises here and is making almost $12.00 an hour. She (formerly a manager for a fast-food restaurant in N.O....ran out of nicknames) is currently in school learning about medical billing and, now having met her and knowing a bit about the medical market here, I'd bet that she'll be making $12.00-$14.00 an hour after she graduates. The little one is as cute and well behaved as he can least he was during the course of the interview. Dad made one trip back to inspect their one bedroom house in the central business district and could only retrieve/salvage one item: their son's bicycle.

This is a truly deserving family and I'm confident my client will ultimately approve them. What a blessing for this family. Ownership of the American Dream out of the disaster. I couldn't be prouder of my client and the good work of Foundation Communities. Could things still go south? Sure, but I've met the folks with this outfit and I'm confident that their follow up will give this family every chance at the Dream.

To assist with that good work, visit here.

Hat-tip: thanks to my friends at Community New Start for connecting me with Foundation Communities.

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